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'Zendejas can help the full USMNT' - Hudson ready to call January camp a success if U.S. can convince Club America star to stay with program

09:18 GMT+3 26/01/2023
Zendejas USMNT Serbia friendly 2023
If nothing else, the USMNT January camp will be a success if the team can keep hold of Alejandro Zendejas, says interim coach Anthony Hudson.
  • Zendejas impresses in USMNT debut
  • Hudson hopes to see Club America star with first team
  • Winger heads back to his club, will miss Colombia friendly

WHAT HAPPENED? Zendejas showed glimpses of what makes him such a highly-coveted prospect in his USMNT debut, going all 90 minutes in the loss to Serbia. Technically, Zendejas may have been the best player on the field, and Hudson says that the USMNT is desperate to keep him with the program going forward.

WHAT THEY SAID: "I think if we come away from this window and Alejandro is someone that can stay with us, and there's obviously a lot of other guys that have come in that are interesting players, but if we get to the end of this window and we can keep Alejandro with us, irrespective of what goes on, it's been a hugely successful window," said Hudson.

"This guy's an exciting player and he's someone that we think can help the national team. I think he adds depth to the team. I think he's right there in a position where he steps in and helps the team with our full squad. He's also someone who's slightly different in terms of his characteristics to what we have. I think it's been great that we've been able to bring him in and we would love to bring him back."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Zendejas faces some stiff competition with the USMNT's A-Team, which includes wingers like Christian Pulisic, Tim Weah, Gio Reyna and Brenden Aaronson. It could also soon feature Cade Cowell, the standout performer on Wednesday and a deserved Man of the Match winner.

IN TWO PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR USMNT? The U.S. will return to action on Saturday for a second January camp friendly against Colombia. However, they will do so without Zendejas, who will head back to Club America for a match against Mazatlan, much to Hudson's disappointment.

"He has to go back to his club tonight," Hudson said. "I was pretty much trying to beg him to stay because I thought he was outstanding."